Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday time can be wonderful...but also dangerous. Lots of lights, candles etc. Pay attention!

Our Stone House/Rebuilt!

         I repeat...FIRE IS hell!

      Remember the guy in the movie “Network”.
      “I want you to get up now...I want you to get up and go to the window” etc, etc,etc.’s what I want you to do.
      Look around....seriously...look at what you have in your room...the other rooms...and select what you couldn’t live without.
      Because...when a fire breaks don’t have time to think about this stuff...important in your life.  
      So...take a good long look and determine what you would HAVE to save..and how you could save it...(toss your computer out a window? whatever)....for your life to continue on in the productive way it was before the match was lit.
      Our small but attractive home was actually a picturesque stone house.  You can Google something by Norman Rockwell called “EVERGREEN COTTAGE” and you’re looking at our home. My Dad had even matched the Rockwell colors with the red door and the green awnings on the windows. We had a small old fashioned wood burning stove  where we built a fire to keep warm.  
      My parents had sold their house in the Chicago suburbs (bye Jackie!) and in the summer lived in this stone house and then they wintered (with our cat Fabian) in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
      I had lost the election and was looking for work in radio again.
It was November and cold and I used a small bit of lighter fluid on some wood to get the fire burning.
      A small part of wood...already burning popped out of the stove and onto the floor and swish ...thing took off like you couldn’t believe. 
      I grabbed the phone and dialed the operator and told her what had happened.  She tried to keep me on the phone to get more information on the rural location...but I screamed at her that I had to get out.
      Now here’s the tough part.
      I had about two minutes to get everything from my life in hand and out the door.  
      My car was parked close to the house and I worried about that.
      What I saved in that short period of time and what I didn’t was based totally on what I could see in the bourgeoning smoke filled house.
      Unlike you...whom I’m sure have followed my suggestion to single out those things you would save...I was completely disorganized.
       I did grab my wallet and brief case but at the same time I left my correspondence which included two letters from the late JFK and one from his brother Bobby. They burned to a crisp along with my other important documents like my passport etc.
      All of my tapes from my radio days also burned up.  And that was a singular loss I could not the letters.
      I got out ok...was not injuried...just coughing a bunch of smoke out of my lungs and I did get the car moved having found the keys in time.
      I don’t think I actually had two seemed more like less than a minute before I couldn’t breath.  Once that happens... you have to get out.
     We were not near a fire station and they had to send a volunteer fireman out to confirm the fire (it happened to be the man who farmed our land) and by the time he had confirmed it the other firemen had suited up and they came out with two or three trucks....the main and rear portion of the house (wood) was engulfed and not worth saving.  The actual stone part in the front and sides was not damaged and my Dad would be able to get that cleaned up and build a new house onto the old stone house and my parents actually got a nice new home out of the insurance...which my Mother badly deserved as she loved the Chicago house and the neighbors there very much.
      I rented a room in a boarding house in Rockford and proceeded to seek a job.  I ended up with NBC NEWS!


Attention car dealers in Florida. I want to trade ads on this blog (seen in 85 countries) for a good used car.
Your ads would be the ONLY advertising on this blog. So if you have a used car on your lot that you won’t miss...send me an email and we’ll talk.  Lots of countries to the south!  Your shop could become famous around the world!   That includes Russia and China! 
I can write the agency needed.
I have a 1999 Cougar to trade in if you want it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

More early rock radio. AND A ON MY SHOW...MICHAEL TALBOTT (Det) MIAMI VICE!

Miami Vice Show with below post

I’m a Pied Piper (Part 2)                                                          repost

After playing the hits at WJJD Chicago for about a year the company offered to “buy us out” of our union....both the AFTRA personalities and the engineers union.
Each of us was given a really big check...but the engineers  cleaned up !  One guy took a check and paid cash to buy his own business...a bar in the loop!
I got several thousand so I made an appointment with the best  nose job doc on Michigan Avenue and got it done.  If I ever worked television I’d look better.
I took what was left and did something I had told Nick Clooney and Ray Van Steen and others of our AFN group that I would do...I flew to Europe and went back to the AFN castle for a visit!  A few days in Germany and I then took the train from Paris to Nice...on the French Riviera. 
I’ll never forget getting off the train in Nice and walking up steps to the street while inhaling the sweet perfume of hundreds and hundreds of fresh flowers at the Nice flower market!
I returned home and took a job doing a morning show in Las Vegas. This would be the first of three stations owned by Mac Richmond in Boston.  In quick succession I would move from Vegas to Washington D.C. as Program Director and jock at WPGC AM-FM and then to WMEX Boston...Mac’s huge number one money maker featuring Arnie “woo woo” Ginsberg and talker Jerry Williams.
There I did news and although I was now out of the “rock jock” field I still was able to help make a massive hit for the Beach Boys.
Here’s how.  WMEX put out a top ten song chart every week and because of the Beatles phenomena about eight or nine songs were the Beatles.  Only the Beach Boys were able to get listed.  They had a song our jocks were playing about once every hour called “Little Duce Coup”.  We all got really sick of hearing it.
A guy called Melvin X Melvin (station name) did the afternoon rock show and had HALF OF THE RADIO LISTENERS IN BOSTON tuned in!  That’s right...his rating was a 52! share.  I’ve never again seen the likes of that in my 50 years of broadcasting experience.
His real name was Jim McKrell and he would later go to Hollywood and host a few game shows and do some flicks.
I went into the Jim’s studio and got the Beach Boys record from him and took it into the newsroom and flipped it over and heard what was going to be the number one record in the country after Jim did the same.  “Flip it over” I told him and because he was as sick of “Coup” as the rest of us he did.  Once he played the flip side...he never played “Coup” again. 
The flip side was, of course, “Little Surfer Girl” and because of the impact of WMEX...stations up and down the Eastern seaboard flipped the crummy “Coup” record and Surfer Girl became number one in the country in just a few weeks.
I was proud having the distinction of “discovering” that hit and in later years when one of the Beach Boys came to Philly as a guest on our WWDB talk station I took him aside and told him what had happened.  He didn’t seem impressed.  Oh well...I know what I did and I love that song.
To wrap up the “Pied Piper” story let me tell you how some the record companies dealt with the Congressional attempt to eliminate “payola.”  
They resorted to expensive “hookers” for the jocks and, I guess, management types. Also it was reported drugs became more available.
The WMEX jocks were “invited” to visit a fancy Boston Hotel suite on an appointment only time and were allowed a few hours with a $500 dollar a night girl.  Who and how many took advantage I don’t know.  Newsmen were NOT included!

Vice’s Michael Talbot (Detective Switek)
click here: 

Stay Awake STAN...records broke/records played!

stay awake stan
I’m a Pied Piper!

“C'mon babe...follow me...I’m the Pied Piper...don’t ya see...and I’ll show you where it’s at!!! 
Top 40 song by Chrispen St. Peter’s in the 50’s...stupidly NOT listed in Billboard's books in your local library...(cause Billboard sucked in the fifties and so still sucks today!)

There is a book by Wes Smith about early days of rock and roll and especially the D.J.’s who played an important part in it.
I’m in the book...pages 228-229.

Quote:  “Perhaps more amazing in the deejay marathon stunt madness...was the feat of deejay Stan Major who staged an eight-and one-half-day “Stay Awake Marathon” that had “absolutely no repercussions of any kind, physically or mentally after 210 hours with no sleep.”  Doctors said, in fact,  that he was actually in better physical condition than before the marathon started.
(Stan’s note: that can be attributed to Sharon...the “silk panty girl” (see earlier post).
And then the author shows his lack of brilliance saying this stupidity: 
“this incredible achievement is all the more impressive
when it is noted that Major, who later moved on to WJJD Chicago ,performed the feat while working at a station in Peoria, Illinois.”  
(say what???)

Then the guy never even mentions my really colossal feat of making “This Time” by Troy Shondell one of the top records in the country by simply sending about a dozen of my friends in the business a copy and asking them to play it as a test to see if we could make this piece of crap a legitimate hit.  and we did!
Also...if he had asked me (I never talked to the author) I would have told him about my personally reviving that gimmick record “I Put A Spell On You” by Screaming Jay Hawkins by playing it a few times each day on my show for a couple of weeks.
Oh well.
The book is by Wes Smith...”The Pied Pipers of Rock and Roll” published by Longstreet Press.
He devotes about 20 pages to WLS Chicago jock Dick Biondi and ONE page to Boston’s Arnie “woo woo” Ginsberg WMEX...who invented payola and cleaned up while it was still legal! 
Arnie made more hit records than Biondi ever did!
Another gage on whether the author knew what he was writing about was the lack of interest on his part about the valuable input of CASHBOX magazine.        “Cashbox” in the 50’s and 60’s was the BIBLE for all radio station personnel and personalities.  Nobody read Billboard which was considered a Hollywood gossip sheet.  But we lived by Cashbox and it’s red dot selection of new hit records.  Billboard rested in a lot of radio station bathrooms but Cashbox was on management's desk!  Need I say more?
This author hardly mentions Cashbox but there’s plenty said about the bathroom Billboard. appears to be interesting reading...especially as I am in it!

End part 1...
...I’m a Pied Piper of rock & roll

Friday, November 28, 2014

Inside look...a soldier in Vietnam !

Peter Arnett & friend?

....Our friend Hal in Saigon...meeting newsman extraordinar PETER ARNETT.

   I made it to Saigon 6 times in my almost 3 full tours in 'Six Flags Over 
Nothing'. It wasn't the first foreign city I'd had ever been and wasn't destined be my last.
  On my 'business trips' to Saigon, I stayed in 4 different hotels; The 
Continental Palace, the Caravelle, The International and the Rex. 
The Rex was also the BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters), but I was there as a 'civilian' most of the times I stayed. The food at The Rex was more Americanized than what you found at some of the other hotels.  
  Saigon had one thing in which I was very surprised the first time I saw it. The vehicle traffic was unbelievably heavy from early daylight to dark. Of course, there was a curfew from, I believe 11 every night, so the only noise you heard was occasional gunfire, harassment mortar rounds (mostly incoming and exploding) and military/government vehicles moving. 
   There was a joint on Vo Tanh Street called the Puerto Rico Bar that I like to hit on late afternoons when I could. The beer was very cold and the working girls would just come by to talk if they knew you weren't shopping for a 'long time' friend. They could work on their Americanized English and "sexological phraseology" that might help them find customers that evening.
  I also tried Mimi's and The Moulon Rouge on Tudo Street, but always ended in the bar at The Rex or at the Puerto Rico Bar.
  On "the morning after the night before" (to blatantly steal an old Shelly Berman line), I was in need of some minor dental work and made it to the U.S. Dental Clinic on Nguyen Thai.
  After leaving the Dental Clinic,  I strolled along Tudo Street until reaching its intersection with Nguyen Hue. There was this huge fountain that the street kids used as a small community wading pool. I stopped to watch them having a good time and realized a guy was standing next to me. He was Caucasian, older than me, but was dressed in clean, but obviously not new, journalist style, OD green jungle fatigues.  I asked him how he was doing. 
He smiled, laughed and remarked something to the effect that he was watching the 6 meter Medley of the Tudo Street Olympic swimming competition.
  He introduced himself as Peter Arnett of the Associated Press. I introduced myself, but 'forgot' to name my employer, although he knew my work by how I was dressed. 
 We decided it was time for some Vitamin B (as in Beer). We went to the Caravelle, had a couple of cold cans and talked a while about everything and nothing.
  We parted after an hour or two and I didn't see him again until a few 
months later in Bangkok. He remembered me and we talked a bit before I had to leave.
  On neither occasion did he ask me any 'whatcha been up to or whatcha doing now' questions.
Saw him one more time in Saigon about a year later and the only question he asked was "what happened to you?" Standing there on my crutch, I explained that I had cut myself shaving and he asked me when I had started shaving my legs!
   About a week after I got back on full duty, who showed up to accompany us on a field op, but Arnett. (And, no, before anyone asks, I'm not saying where we were.) He always kept up, never got in the way, knew when to be quiet and never caused us any problems. He was a real trooper. He seemed to be the same guy then as he was later during the Gulf Wars. He had his opinions and voiced them about VN, too. When he caught so much flak for stating his opinion during the notorious interview he did...all I could think of was that he had made remarks about the poor way the VN war was being waged, too. The big difference was that most people and journalists felt that way about our Southeast Asian misadventure. 
    The Middle East war was still popular in US and "Coalition of the Willing" minds. If he were to say those same things now, heads would be nodding and no one would likely be calling for his.

Hal...his encounters with a famous Peter Arnett of AP and later CNN. (See the movie LIVE FROM BAGHDAD)


Attention car dealers in Florida. I want to trade you ads on this blog (seen in 85 countries) for a good used car.

Your ads would be the ONLY advertising on this blog. So if you have a used car on your lot that you won’t miss...send me an email and we’ll talk.  Lots of countries to the south!  Your shop could become famous around the world!   That includes Russia and China!
I have a 1999 Cougar to trade in if you want it.

Putin plays hockey and SCORES in ratings!

Putin on ice (red)

Way to go Vlad!
        Approval rating inside Russia 88%.  Obama’s is somewhere in the 60’s?  I think.
What did Putin do to deserve this?  A war or more helps.  Putting Obama in his place also helps.  Playing ice hockey doesn’t hurt.
Now he could score big OUTSIDE Russia if he’d just give my Dad his well deserved medal for building the airstrips in Persia in WW2 so the planes could fly food and supplies to besieged Leningrad and Stalingrad!

When I first went to Vietnam to do "hometowners" I had to feel my way to find the best way of getting as many guys interviewed as possible.  
I soon  realized all I had to do was make a sign"if you are from St. Louis, Philly, New Orleans etc" and stand near the largest PX's and I cleaned up.
  Only two other things the military wanted me to do. Get some go aboard a carrier(Hancock) and interview a handful with them...tour the ship etc. They never told me about the catapult "grabber" on landing. Damn near died. They gave me a break on take off...did it normally.
The other favor was tough...a hospital.  I talked to several guys...the last one was brutal.  He was from St Louis.  When I got back to Chicago there was a message from the GM at KMOX St. Louis saying he had received word that the boy had died.  His parents heard the interview and contacted the GM who made a special copy for them.  
     Son's last words.  


Attention car dealers in Florida. I want to trade you ads on this blog (seen in 85 countries) for a good used car.
Your ads would be the ONLY advertising on this blog. So if you have a used car on your lot that you won’t miss...send me an email and we’ll talk.  Lots of countries to the south!  Your shop could become famous around the world!   That includes Russia and China!
I have a 1999 Cougar to trade in if you want it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014



The Oscar nominations are out and Julia and Sandy were named (again) so take that you constant "red carpet" walking bubble-heads that nobody knows...(see my earlier post on them)

      I love widescreen movies!  
I don’t mean “matted” screen...I mean REAL widescreen flicks or letterbox...mostly on TCM...occasionally on Max or Showtime.
Now with HD being paramount...they don’t run them often.
If I actually buy a dvd and it says widescreen but turns out to be matted I am really pissed. I have to be careful because it generally says “widescreen” but isn’t.
Murphy’s Romance was like that...but that flick is so good and Garner and Field are so good I didn’t mind.  A lot of folks don’t like Sally Field but you just could not dislike her in that movie.  Garner was a bit “grumpy” for my tastes but I accepted that as part of his demeanor. Sally’s pic on the cover of the dvd is “hot” and I mean hot.
Your response to my personal music list has opened up the possibility of me “publishing” a long list (I have a lot of em) of my favorite movies that you may or may not agree with.
So...hang onto your seat and fill your we go.
These are not in any special order:
THE DAY OF THE JACKAL...the original with Edward Fox (scary sob)
AVANTI....Jack Lemmon (Billy Wilder)
FLAWLESS....Demi Moore & Michael Caine. Stealing diamonds. 
FFOLKES...Roger Moore & Anthony Perkins(he’s scarier in this than in Psycho! And Moore loves do I!)
THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT....Annette Bening & Michael Douglas. (Ignore the left wing script...enjoy the Prez getting laid)
3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR.....Robert Redford
MOON OVER PARADOR....Richard Dreyfuss
THE GOOD THIEF....Nick Nolte (outstanding...except matted...not letterbox even with “widescreen” and full screen choices
EMPIRE RECORDS...but only because Liv Tyler runs around in short plaid and even removes it for us! Wow! Otherwise this sucks.
OCEAN’S 11 (THE ORIGINAL)...Takes me back to my days in Vegas in this era.  Angie Dickinson was cool & HOT!
BOTTLESHOCK...Alan Rickman....makes you thirsty as hell!
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR...Steve McQueen & Faye Dunaway.  The music is great too...but the heist is better!
THE RUSSIA HOUSE....Sean Connery & Michelle Pfeiffer.  Great twists...fine music and letterbox best!  Thank you Russia for the beautiful locales.
MAROONED...Gregory Peck.  The original “Lost In Space” epic,another great “letterbox” flick.  Don’t miss the scene where the cop...who just stopped Peck for speeding, gets a call on his police radio from the President!
RONIN...Robert De Niro and Jean Reno(steals the show) and letterbox on the Riviera! Wow.
WAG THE DOG...Another DeNiro film with a script right out of the Clintonian era.
COMING TO AMERICA...Eddie Murphy.  Not a big fan of his but this is a fun flick.
VANISHING POINT (original)...Barry Newman.  Two sides one for U.S. and other for U.K.?  Says “widescreen” but ain’t...but on the U.S. side the great outdoor scenery looks pretty good matted.
ABSOLUTE POWER....Clint Eastwood. Nasty folks in DC. Judy Davis is too much!
STRIPTEASE....Demi Moore (as you’ve never seen her before or again).  Awful flick but how can you not love that body!
CITY OF ANGELS....Meg Ryan.  C’mon Meg....a heart specialist? But she did a good job pretending and I still have a crush on her. Hated the ending...awful. Great music!
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED....Michael Caine & Robert Duvall.
ARTHUR.....Dudley Moore.  Whole cast is great along with script etc.
JFK....Kevin Costner (Oliver Stone).  See my posts on Jim Garrison and Jim Marrs, author.
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR.....Tom Hanks.  I collected $ for them before Wilson even knew them!
1776....William Daniels and Howard Da Silva
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN....Dustin Hoffman & Robert Redford.  The retelling of the media coup d’etat that changed our history. 
SIX DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS....Harrison Ford & Anne Hech. Fun and real letterbox for the island scenery. 
TO CATCH A THIEF....Grace Kelly & Cary Grant on the Riviera! Sad to say it says “widescreen” but it’s not letterbox.
GOOD ADVICE....Charlie Sheen & Angie Harmon.  I got a kick out of this one and I’ve had the hots for Angie for years!
DAVE....Kevin Klien & Sigourney Weaver
CHANCES ARE....Robert Downey, Jr.& Cybill Shepherd (she’s still looking fine here!)
THE LAST OF THE DOGMEN....Tom Berenger & Barbara Hershey.  Great letterbox here....but Barbara looks good any old way.
VOLCANO...Tommy Lee Jones & Anne Heche.  “The Coast Is Toast”...logo beats anything Mad Men could come up with.
GETTYSBURG....Martin Sheen & Jeff Daniels.  Great epic.
MAD MONEY....Diane Keaton & Katie Holmes.  How can you go wrong with a scene where Katie is stuffing bills in her panties! Right guys?
SPEECHLESS.....Geena Davis (at her most beautiful) and Michael Keaton.  Not a great script but the two play well off each other. Stupid ending though.
THE STALKING MOON....Gregory Peck & Eva Marie Saint. Excellent dramatic fare without one crashing “car”...but the chase is scary as hell and the Indian Chief trying to rescue his son is rarely seen which makes it more suspenseful.  This is real letterbox and shot outdoors mostly so enjoy.
DER TUNNEL (German)Nicolette Krebitz & Heino Ferch.  Bunch of E. Berliners dig their way out.  Great, Great, Great flick!  Nicolette is more than "hot".  Don't miss their dancing scene.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING....Sandra Bullock & Bill Pullman. Love ya Sandy!  Chicago scenes as usual are great.
MIDWAY....Charlton Heston & Henry Fonda. This “widescreen” is really “letterbox” so enjoy the action.
KISS THE GIRLS....Morgan Freeman & Ashley Judd(hot)  
KELLY’S HEROS....Clint Eastwood & Telly Savalas.  Get the gold guys!...letterbox too!
COPYCAT....Sigourney Weaver & Holly Hunter.  Don’t watch this (letterbox) with the lights off!
TORA TORA TORA....Epic on the attack at Pearl Harbor....and letterbox too boot!
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE....John Belushi & Blair Brown.  Matted but acceptable with the great scenery.  Belushi at his best...Brown at her prettiest.
STARMAN....Jeff Bridges & Karen Allen.  One of my all time favorites and true “letterbox”. Why no sequel?  He left her with a baby.  I want to know what happened to the alien baby!
FRENCH KISS...Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline.  My Meg favorite here...and I know you’ll pick Sleepless or Mail...but this is the one for me.  Probably because I love France so much. True letterbox too.
BLACK WIDOW....Debra Winger & Theresa Russell (as the widow) Man she is bad!
DEEP IMPACT....Morgan Freeman as the Prez.  Love the way the FBI kidnaps a member  of the press right off the highway and dumps her in the White House basement for the Prez. One wonders if Nixon’s group could have done the same for those Washington Post guys.
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER....Alec Baldwin & Sean Connery. Real “letterbox” in this one.  Very suspense filled from start to finish.
LOVE ACTUALLY.....Hugh Grant & Keira Knightley (yep I had to mention her, right)  Some great songs here and some miscasting but it all works out in the end.  Grant as PM is akin to Ryan as a heart doc!
But enjoy’s fun. KK is hot and London in letterbox is good too.
LIVE FROM BAGHDAD...or how CNN conquered the world. Michael Keaton & Helen Bonham Carter (before becoming a Queen.) Having been in Nam for NBC News I could relate a bunch to this script and two guys I know well were written in...Bernie Shaw and Peter Arnett because they were there when the bombs fell. 
MISS CONGENIALITY...Sandra Bullock & Michael Caine
THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL....Peck, Olivier & James Mason.
could that have really happened?  Is there a DNA Hitler among us today?
NOTTING HILL....Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant.  My favorite JR flick.  Letterbox too!
WARGAMES....Matthew Broderick & Ally Sheedy(yummy)
ENEMY OF THE STATE...Will Smith & Gene Hackman. Letterbox.  On the set of Bad Boys ll (I was an extra) I wanted to ask Smith about this film but it was a no-no to talk to superstar!

That’s it for list ONE.  Oh can expect another soon...and still another Stan's list of my favorite movie songs!